THE WAIT FOR THE air passenger charter is getting longer. Reports suggest that domestic airlines have objected to the charter’s extreme focus on passenger rights. The draft charter imposes strict penalties on airlines for delays and cancellations. It also mandates that airlines make compensation payouts for any inconvenience to passengers. With emphasis on provision for facilities such as in-flight wifi, experts argue that this may see airlines increasing fees – something that they can’t afford to do in the current climate.
The other objection arises from determining the reasons behind flight delays, which are increasingly becoming common at metro airports because of congestion and, occasionally, weather conditions. Competitive air fares have made flying more accessible to the masses and also resulted in stupendous growth in domestic air traffic – 20.94 per cent year-on-year growth till September. It is time that the government takes a balanced approach towards implementing the long-pending charter.